Monday, September 5, 2011

School Days...

Normally this is a truly wonderful time of year for me. I love the Fall weather and the fact that the kids are heading back to school. I love that having them go back to a normal routine also puts me back into a somewhat normal one. I love going to the soccer games and chatting with folks while cheering for my girls.

But something feels off this year. I am not as excited. I find myself waking up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding and scary thoughts racing through my mind. There is a black cloud hanging overhead that I can't quite escape from.

The Toots is going to school as well. And I swear to God, I don't think I am in any way ready for this.

Now, of course you are probably thinking that I have completely lost my mind since Tessie has technically been going to school for three years already but here is my dilemma. I have basically removed Tess from the school and had her tutored at home most of that time rather than send her. I did this for a variety of reasons. The biggest one being that she gets every single germ that another kid has but gets a thousand times sicker than those kids. I couldn't risk it.

Another reason, valid in my mind at least, is that The Toots hates school. As in, forces herself to fall asleep in the van on the ride to school and will only miraculously wake up when she hears (through her veil of sleep) that she is being brought back home. Then, POP, her eyes open wide and she grins like the cat that ate the canary. Because she has won and she knows it. She is going home to her mama and her recliner and her Spongebob.

But thanks to that UNE Neuromotor Clinic that we went to over this past summer, she can no longer get away with that behavior. Why? Because they basically told me, in a very, very nice way, that I spoil her rotten and it is not helping her. Damn!

They informed me that most eight year olds would rather stay home and watch their favorite movies but should they be allowed to? Would I have allowed Blake and Ellie to? Well no, of course not. But Tessie is NOT "most" eight year olds. I put up a pretty good defense of myself, I will say, but they seemed to have an answer for every single one of my arguments! I hate that!

My point: she hates school

Their point: most 8 yr olds don't want to go

My point: she falls asleep and won't do anything

Their point: Because it has always worked for her in the past. This year, when she falls asleep in school, she will have to wake up in school and will then realize she did not win that battle.

My point: She gets SO FREAKIN' SICK and to be brutally honest, what if she got so sick it killed her? How would I ever be able to live with the knowledge that I could have prevented it by simply keeping her home with me. Where it is safe.

Their point: She is getting exposed to all these germs every single time you take her anywhere. The doctors, the store, etc. Plus, Blake and Ellie are bringing home the school germs anyway. And finally, you have to consider QUALITY of life versus QUANTITY. In other words, what is the point of being alive if you aren't allowed to live?


But they are 100% right. The Toots deserves to have the best, most fulfilled life possible and that very much includes going to school. Much to my chagrin.

So tomorrow, Sheila will take her to school and I will have some time at home to myself. And I cannot even remember the last time that happened.

What will I do with my time? Oh, sit and worry. And then worry some more and second guess myself for even letting her go. And God forbid she gets sick in a couple of days after being there. I will beat myself up one side and down the other.

Then I will put on my big girl panties and deal with it. And then send her back to school. Because I refuse to fall back into that safe comfort zone that makes me feel good and secure while taking away something that Tessie deserves.

A life.

When I ran all this by my trusted Heather, she agreed with UNE while remaining empathetic to my worries. Then she left me with this quote that she thought was good for both Toodle Bug and myself...

“Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." ~Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh


  1. It's a tough pill to swallow when being told that you're way isn't working. Especially when you thought your way was the best. I nearly choked on my own pride when faced with changing my way of thinking, believing, living and projecting a positive attitude and way of life. My answer to everything that was recommended was..."That's not how I do things, that's just NOT me"...the return comment that shook my foundation was..."If your way works so well, then why has your way of life led you to such desperation?" Defeated, I looked her straight in the eye and said..."You're right!" I didn't want to make my comment about me, but I wanted you to know that so many other people experience the same situation on different levels and wanted you to know you're not alone. God Bless

  2. Joanna, you have taught me so much about your life through these posts. But when I put on my teacher hat, I have to agree with UNE here as well. As much as it is scary - Tess will probably get a bit stronger and with time you will probably get to enjoy the time alone! Be strong - and keep writing.

  3. It will be a change for both of you - a huge adjustment - but a good one....for both of you! Of course, there will be worry filled days, super sick germ-filled days and just plain bad days, but there will also be fun, amazingly happy days and those will make it worth it. Tessie is showing her independence and resilience and you are being forced to regain a little bit of you (which who is that?!? At least that is how I feel after my years home as a SAHM!). Sending love through this transition. E-mail me anytime!